Private Equity

4 minutes


Experienced duo join Foresight to support new SME funds in Yorkshire and the North East

Foresight is continuing its regional expansion, with Tavia Sparks and Richard Ralph joining to support the deployment of the Foresight North East Fund and the Foresight West Yorkshire SME Investment Fund.

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Foresight Group, a leading listed private equity and infrastructure investment manager, is continuing its regional expansion, with Tavia Sparks and Richard Ralph joining to support the deployment of the Foresight North East Fund and the Foresight West Yorkshire SME Investment Fund.

Tavia and Richard will focus on supporting SMEs throughout Yorkshire and the North East; providing equity and working with founders and management teams to unlock the growth potential in their companies.


The funds will invest up to £10 million into a variety of transactions throughout the region.


Tavia, who joins Foresight from Santander UK, where she was Director in the Growth Capital team, has more than 15 years’ experience in banking and investment. Tavia is well known throughout the region.


Also joining the team is Richard Ralph, who has spent 10 years’ advising SMEs in the region, and was most recently an Assistant Director in Deloitte’s corporate finance team in Leeds.


Foresight is one of the most active investors in small and medium-sized businesses, providing flexible funding and partnering with companies across all sectors and deal stages. In calendar year 2021, Foresight made 58 investments into UK SMEs and delivered 8 successful exits. So far in 2022, Foresight made 65 investments into SMEs and successfully completed 8 exits, including the sales of TFC (12.6x money) and Codeplay (16.1x money).


Foresight already has a significant regional presence, with offices in Edinburgh, Cambridge, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Leicester, Nottingham, and most recently Dublin.


Matt Smith, Partner, said: “We are delighted to welcome Tavia and Richard and are excited to increase our presence in the North East and Yorkshire.


“Despite much of the negative news flow on the broader economic environment, we continue to see a strong pipeline of promising SMEs who are seeking funding and targeting growth throughout Yorkshire and the North East.


“Our two new Funds will support economic growth and deliver a positive social and economic impact - creating high-quality, local jobs. We are confident that the Funds will replicate our successful model in the North West, Midlands, East of England and Scotland.”

Tavia Sparks, commented: “I am thrilled to join the Foresight team and look forward to working with some of the region’s most promising SMEs, helping to take businesses to the next level - creating new, sustainable jobs and supporting communities across Yorkshire and the North East.”


Richard Ralph, added: “Foresight has a strong reputation of supporting SMEs across regions throughout UK and I am delighted to join the team. Having worked with SMEs in the region for the past 10 years, I am confident of the potential in the region and look forward to helping local communities thrive.”





For more information contact:

Chris Barry, Influential: / +44 (0)7733 103 693

Lucy Sherwood, Foresight Group:


Notes to Editors

About Foresight Group:

Foresight Group was founded in 1984 and is a leading listed infrastructure and private equity investment manager. With a long-established focus on ESG and sustainability-led strategies, it aims to provide attractive returns to its institutional and private investors from hard-to-access private markets. Foresight manages over 330 infrastructure assets with a focus on solar and onshore wind assets, bioenergy and waste, as well as renewable energy enabling projects, energy efficiency management solutions, social and core infrastructure projects and sustainable forestry assets. Its private equity team manages ten regionally focused investment funds across the UK and an SME impact fund supporting Irish SMEs. This team reviews over 2,500 business plans each year and currently supports more than 200 investments in SMEs. Foresight Capital Management manages four strategies across six investment vehicles with an AUM of over £1.6 billion.


Foresight operates from 13 offices across seven countries in Europe and Australia with AUM of £12.4 billion*. Foresight Group Holdings Limited listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange in February 2021.


*Based on Foresight Group unaudited AUM as at 30 June 2022 and Infrastructure Capital's unaudited AUM as at 30 June 2022 converted from AUD to GBP at an exchange rate of 0.5846 as at 7 September 2022.






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